Why I sacked my cleaner
But it wasn't the solution. With seven people in our house there is just so much TIDYING to do. It could be a full time occupation. Cleaning proved to be the least of our worries. Picking up all the stuff is massive. Cleaning is not so massive. Picking up all the stuff has to happen every day, or at least more often than once a fortnight. Otherwise we could not open the front door and leave the house each morning. Cleaning does not actually take all that much time (once the tidying is done).
So tidying up for the cleaner was proving to be a big stress and on a weekday morning when I was working, it just became a bit nightmarish. Plus if most of the job is tidying, then the actual cleaning (in theory) could be done by the seven people who live in the house. It's not like the kids are small anymore (although they are more sophisticated in their complaining and I'm less tolerant of the complaining after so many years of parenting).
The trick now is to be diligent in finding a time (and the energy to motivate the troops) when we all tidy up and clean each week.